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A visually-striking four-part series from MacTV follows Kate Macleod as she explores the hidden stories of the Outer Hebrides - above and below water.

Returning for a new season tonight (Monday April 11) Kate (25) discovers tall tales of the Western Isles and plunges the depths of the stunning waters to explore the mesmerising marine biodiversity of the islands.

Kate sums it up well when she says: "A mermaid always has time for other sea creatures!"

Starting from her base at home in Uig, in episode one, 'real-life' mermaid Kate visits a remote part of the west coast of Lewis as, in the company of Malcolm Maclean, they journey to the head of Loch Hamnaway.

It is here she learns about the treasured Uig Chessmen, a Viking chess set, which, according to local legend, arrived there first before being properly discovered on Ardroil beach in a tale of murder and deceit.

A brief jaunt to the never inhabited island of Mealista provides Kate the first opportunity to show off the stunning beaches of the Outer Hebrides.

Kate gushes over the scenery and recounts the beautiful, yet tragic history of the island.

She said: "The beach is especially stunning. It's quite unique and you can see why I love it so much. It is just so special.

"I've heard that nobody ever lived on this island and for a very good reason. It has no source of fresh water - no loch, river or stream.

"That didn't stop people visiting it though. They say that east coast fishermen would stop here with their boats, to shelter in the bays and inlets.

"I might be biased towards my own area, but the views of these beaches are pretty hard to beat!

"But with these amazing views comes unpredictable weather. . . In March 1932, boats from Breanish went out to lift their lobster creels.

"Nobody has any details, but the boat sank. The four people onboard were lost. Nobody knows how it happened."

Kate also visits the island of Scarp, which was once a thriving community, with many families living there, immersed in working the land and fishing at sea. Sadly, the last islanders left in 1971.

It is here Kate learns an amazing piece of local history about seven men from the same Scarp family who fought in World War I.

With it being very rare for bodies to be returned home from battle to the islands, Kate was taken aback to discover there is a war grave on Scarp where a husband and wife were laid to rest together.

Kate, complete with her powerful monofin, also goes swimming at one of her favourite spots as she glides effortlessly through the water taking in the beauty of her surroundings - including a lion's mane jellyfish.

Sea swimming is something Kate has been doing all her life and the visual rewards of entering the underwater world are immense, not to mention the benefits to physical and mental health.

In episode two, Kate comes across an interesting sea creature, known as a sunfish, which is native to tropical waters, but is likely to have been carried to the islands by the Gulf Stream. Swimming on its side, the sun heats its body and it feeds on jellyfish.

Of catching a glimpse of the rare species, Kate said: "What an amazing creature!

"I feel very priveliged to have seen this beautiful fish, and to have caught it on camera, underwater."

She also journeys to Taransay, home of some of the most stunning and unique beaches in the Outer Hebrides. Once a thriving community, the island had three villages, but is now home to deer, seabirds and cattle.

To learn more about the people who once lived in Taransay, Kate speaks to genealogist Bill Lawson, who spent time in his youth with the last people to inhabit the island

Kate also learns of the myth of the waterhorse of Loch nam Mònach.

In episode three, Kate and her dad, Murray, journey to Pabbay, Ensay and the South of Harris, where they explore these beautiful islands under water and on dry land.

Kate meets with Fiona MacKenzie in the village of Strond to learn about how the Paisley Sisters were responsible for the first-ever commercially-produced web of the world renowned Harris Tweed.

Kate continues attempting to befriend seals and takes in the beauty of Ensay's underwater seaweed forests.

In episode four, Kate finally swims with seals as she visits Berneray and discovers how the distance between the island and nearby Pabbay has grown over time.

Miann na Maighdinn-mara (Mermaid Tales) begins on BBC ALBA on Monday 11 April at 8.30pm. Each programme will also be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days afterwards.